An Open Letter to Alex Salmond

Firstly, thank you.  Thank you for getting us this far, for kicking the hornet’s nest and waking up a nation.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t liked you, I haven’t agreed with some of the choices you have made, some of the things you have said, and some of the people you have associated with.  I haven’t liked you, but I cannot help but admire and respect you.  I have no illusions that you are a one man band, that you have done this all on your own, but you have chosen to paint a target on yourself, to take one for the team, and for that I applaud you.

Whatever the result on Thursday, I think you deserve a holiday.  I cannot imagine the pressure you must be under.  I have witnessed some of the weight that has been arrayed against you, the full might of Westminster, the mainstream media, business leaders, economists, celebrities, world leaders and men and women on the street.  I have heard some of the lies, the threats, seen some of the dirty tricks, the misdirections, and yet the independence momentum keeps building.

In particular, I was amused by the voices from America, urging us to reject this chance, emerging fresh from celebrating their own independence from the greedy hands of London.  They would portray us as Oliver Twist, having the bare faced cheek to ask for more, when the reality puts us David against a particularly brutal Goliath.

I chuckle when they ask you for specifics, Alistair Darling repeatedly asking for your plan B, when they know full well that nothing can be promised, nothing guaranteed, until after the vote and all the arguing has been done.  Likewise I grin when they are questioned about these so called new powers, and how they won’t be tied down to exact numbers, because they can’t guarantee anything either.  We don’t know who will be in power in the UK, we don’t know who will win the first election in Scotland.  Nothing can be known at this point, apart from the determination and resolve of some key players, and the idea, the dream, that burns in the hearts of so many Scots now, shining brighter than it has for a long time.  A fire that we thought extinguished, a light all but snuffed that you have helped fuel back to strength.

There are so many ways that this could possibly spin out, it’s like climbing into a roller coaster seat for the first time. I am excited and scared, hopeful, proud and terrified. As the day grows closer my resolve replaces certainty when it succumbs to the worms of doubt. I’m putting myself, my family, and possibly my nation, and those next door in a new direction if things go as I hope they do. This is massive, this is a chance to make a real change in so many things, a chance that me and my fellow Scots have not felt we have had before. A feeling, regardless of which way we vote, that our vote matters, so much more than it ever has in a general election. The politics in this UK is broken in so many ways, on so many levels, that I and thousands of others are grabbing at a sliver of hope that at the very least, for ourselves and our descendants, we can try and change the course of this mighty river, even just a little, to give everyone a more equal slice of the pie.

 

For too long we have forgotten how good we are as individuals and as a nation, listened and believed the lie that we are not good enough, not clever enough. If we can change the way our young are encouraged, take those born in the gutter and give them a chance to aspire to something better. If we can begin to tackle some of the many social problems in this country, then I for one will grab that chance with both hands.

We may be too small to go it alone, but we are also too small to be fairly treated by Westminster. History has proven that true, time and time again. I have no illusions that a Yes vote is a magic wand, but I know what a No vote means, and that scares me more than any leap into the unknown ever could.

So thank you Mr Salmond.  Thank you for not giving up, for not letting us forget who we could be, who we should be, and who we can be again.

I for one, do not wish to squander this opportunity.

A Scotsman and his family.

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